BCCI chief N Srinivasan continues to remain defiant despite growing demands for his resignation amidst the IPL scandal.
New Delhi: The day's highlights:
- N Srinivasan withstands all pressure to remain defiant and keep his post.
- Srinivasans' son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan's police custody extended till May 31.
- Delhi Police arrests four bookies, including one who allegedly cleared cricketer S Sreesanth's Mumbai hotel room of all evidence of his involvement in the spot-fixing case. The other three remanded to police custody till Thursday
- Arrested bookie Mohd Yahya sent to judicial custody till June 4 after the Delhi Police said he was no more required for custodial interrogation.
- Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf denies all charges against him.
- Former ICC chief Sharad Pawar calls for MHA probe into IPL scandal; takes digs at Srinivasan but just stops short of calling for his resignation.
- Chennai-based hotelier Vikram Aggarwal moves the Madras High Court seeking bail. However, the hearing is adjourned till Thursday.
- A Mumbai court admits a plea seeking a criminal case against Srinivasan and other BCCI officials.
It was a day of fast-paced developments in the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal even as BCCI President N Srinivasan remained defiant and withstood all pressure to quit from his post. A day after Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association President and BCCI's Finance Committee chief Jyotiraditya Scindia called for Srinivasan's resignation as his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was allegedly involved in betting on IPL matches, more BCCI functionaries and politicians came out against the man who heads the world's richest cricket body.
Former ICC chief Sharad Pawar, holding a press conference in Mumbai, said that "such things would not have happened" under him. Taking digs at Srinivasan, Pawar said that during his time, team work mattered more. Pawar also backed Shashank Manohar's calls for a MHA probe into the scandal and said that all the matches of IPL 6 must be investigated. Pawar, however, just stopped short of directly calling for Srinivasan's resignation.
IPL chief Rajeev Shukla, himself under pressure to resign following the all-round criticism of the way IPL was being managed, said that Srinivasan should keep away from the BCCI probe until it was complete. He, however, declined to comment what he meant by Srinivasan keeping away.
"Whatever suggestions are made by the panel should be implemented immediately. No matter how big the person, the guilty will be punished. We have recommended to Srinivasan that he must stay away while the probe is underway. But it will be his prerogative to choose. He is the elected President of the BCCI. It's the question of the image of the cricket board. He is maintaining that he is innocent. It's a call he will have to take. We want a thorough inquiry and the guilty to be punished," Shukla said.
The statement came after Shukla met BCCI vice president and member of the Board's disciplinary committee Arun Jaitley.
Sources, however, said that Srinivasan had rejected their advice to maintain distance.
The BCCI probe team also maintained that their investigations would not be influenced in any way. "As far as I am concerned, nobody can influence me. Even if he (Srinivasan) comes, I don't think so. I will work independently and act according to the Constitution," former Karnataka and Madras High Court Judge T Jayaram Chowta said. Justice R Balasubramanian, when asked if the probe would be free and fair, said, "if you believe me as a free and fair person, I should be fair."
Srinivasan, too, insisted the probe would be fair. "I have nothing to do with the commission. It is independent. I will remain away from the commission. What Shukla has said, I said in Kolkata. It will remain an independent commission," said Srinivasan.
On a day when the Mumbai Cricket Association chief Ravi Sawant said that Srinivasan should not have been allowed to own a IPL team, the under-fire Board president found support from the Odisha Cricket Association. "Why should Srinivasan resign? His son-in-law is under the scanner, not him," said Odisha Cricket Association Secretary Ashirbad Behera.
However, more trouble is brewing for Srinivasan as a Mumbai court on Wednesday admitted a plea seeking a criminal case against him and other BCCI officials. The petitioner said that he felt cheated because of the IPL scandal. The court fixed May 31 as the date for hearing the plea.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police also arrested four more bookies, including the one who allegedly cleared cricketer S Sreesanth's Mumbai hotel room of all evidence of his involvement in spot-fixing. The other three - businessmen Vinod Sharma, Nitin Jain and bouncer Vikash Chowdhury - were sent to police custody till Thursday. Meanwhile, arrested bookie Mohd Yahya was sent to judicial custody till June 4 after the Delhi Police said he was no more required for custodial interrogation.
Meanwhile, betting suspect Meiyappan was sent to police custody till May 31.
In Chennai, the Madras High Court adjourned the twin bail pleas of hotelier Vikram Aggarwal till Thursday.
In Pakistan, at a press conference in Lahore, umpire Asad Rauf denied charges against him. He said all the allegations against him were baseless. Rauf was recently withdrawn from the ICC Champions Trophy after his name cropped up in the ongoing investigations into the IPL betting and fixing scandal.
With additional information from PTI